* Hayya Card holders will be eligible for medical services and testing facilities will be accessible to all

Vaccination will not be mandatory for World Cup fans, a senior Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) official has said. Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of Vaccination, Department of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at MoPH, said this at the 'Making Mega Sporting Events Safe and Healthy’ online event, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Monday.
Dr al-Bayat however, recommended vaccination for the winter season and seasonal influenza and Covid-19. “Do take the Covid-19 vaccination and vaccines that are recommended while travelling and attending the mass gathering, like meningitis and measles vaccine,” she said adding that Covid-19 and seasonal flu vaccinations are the most recommended vaccinations for the fans.
The MoPH official explained there will be testing facilities at fan zones and Primary Health Care Corporation health centres along with private healthcare facilities where Covid-19 tests can be done at minimum rates for visitors if they suspect infection or experience symptoms.
“Hayya Card holders will be eligible for medical services, and testing facilities will be accessible to all,” she said.
“This the first World Cup in the region and first during the winter. There are possibilities of the spread of flu and other viruses. Preparations are held and all the measures are in place to avoid any outbreak.There is a co-operation among the MoPH, FIFA and WHO,” she said.
Dr al-Bayat said that Qatar has been making preparations to combat any kind of disease outbreak for two years and half.
“We have been working in collaboration with international and local partners while chalking out scientific plans and strategy to move on with the challenges. Qatar’s strategies have been proven successful and the country has recorded the lowest rate of mortality and highest rate of vaccination coverage.
"We have strengthened our plans to fight communicable diseases. We have been making plans for the last one decade and Covid-19 has further strengthened these plans,” she explained, adding that Qatar has a robust surveillance system in place to identify Covid-19 and any communicable disease spread and avoid it.
“We have a well set up track and trace system where cases are traced and controlled. The World Cup will be a healthy and safe experience,” she said and added that the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 was like a mini drill and it was successfully organised in a healthy and safe environment
“We want to leave a legacy that tells the people that this major event can be held during a pandemic and during a different season while making it safe,” she added.
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